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Music / Billie Eilish

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you should see me in a crown.

I’m the bad guy . . .
— “bad guy”

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell (born December 18, 2001) is an American singer and songwriter.

Her music, often described as “noir pop” for its world-weary tone and dark lyrical themes, is a unique brand of blues-y minimalist Indie Pop featuring breathy vocals and extreme attention to subtle sounds and details. It is is a collaboration with her multi-instrumentalist brother Finneas O’Connell, who also produced her first EP.

Eilish’s first viral single, “ocean eyes”, was released in 2016,—when she was fifteen years old—followed the next year by the EP dont smile at me. Her debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, became the most pre-ordered album in Apple Music history before its official release in March of 2019. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making her the first artist born in the 21st century to reach that slot.



Eilish as a creator provides examples of:

Tropes appearing in Eilish's work:

  • Abduction Is Love: Played with in "hostage":
    I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain ...
    Just let me hold you
    Like a hostage
  • Bait-and-Switch: From the bridge of "COPYCAT":
    Sorry, sorry, I'm sorry, sorry . . .
  • Changed for the Video: The video version of "watch" includes a long pause before the first chorus as Billie's backup dancers rush to tie her up on her ladder.
  • Cover Version:
    • She performed an acoustic rendition of “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” by Phantogram on BBC Radio 1.
    • A cover of Michael Jackson’s “Bad”, produced by Like a Version.
  • Double Consciousness: Implied in "idontwannabeyouanymore" and its music video, which shows Billie confronting her reflection like another person.
  • Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter: "bellyache":
    Where's my mind?
    Maybe it's in the gutter
    Where I left my lover
  • Love Is Like Religion: From the unreleased track, "6.18.18":
    You made me wanna pray
    But I think God's fake
  • Motifs: Ladders in the dont smile at me era. The EP's cover shows Billie sitting beneath a large red stepladder, and art for the individual songs shows her in various other positions on the contraption. Ladders are also featured centrally in the music videos for "watch" and "bored".
  • Murder Ballad: "bellyache", from the perspective of the killer.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "bellyache".
    Where's my mind?
    Where's my mind?
  • Scatting: Billie does a bit in the beginning of "my boy".
  • Shout-Out: "bellyache" has the line, "My V is for Vendetta."
  • Textless Album Cover: Both her album and her EP.
  • Villainous Lament: "bellyache", where the singer is implied to have murdered her compatriots in a heist to keep the money for herself. According to Billie, the song is about “a psychopath who regrets being a psychopath but doesn’t really care.”
    Thought that I'd feel better
    But now I got a bellyache
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: "ocean eyes".
    I've been watching you for some time
    Can't stop staring at those oceans eyes
    Burning cities and napalm skies
    Fifteen flares inside those ocean eyes


Example of: